It's Game Week!...Sorta

It is game week in Provo – well, kind of. The BYU football team will be on the road this weekend at Fort Collins taking on Colorado State, but there will still be action in Happy Valley. Cougar fans will have their first look at the men's basketball team as BYU gets its exhibition season underway this Thursday night at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars will take on Brock University in the first of two preseason games before heading down to southern California to play preseason #5 UCLA. Brock University is located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Badgers will play both BYU and Utah on their trip to Utah. On the year, they are 7-1 and averaging 84 points a game.

On Monday, the Cougars continued their preparations for the season. The team went through many of their traditional routines – running, shooting, defense, running, more shooting, learning new plays, running, shooting, rebounding and, oh yeah, more running.

"We're farther along than we were last year on both offense and defense," said senior guard Austin Ainge. "We have a better understanding of what we are trying to do on both offense and defense."

When asked if they are doing anything different or special to get ready for the scrimmage he said: "We are mainly focusing on ourselves right now. It wouldn't matter if we were playing Brock University or the NBA champions, we want to focus on what we do and do that best."

The team did have several mini-scrimmages this past weekend. The coaches brought in officials and simulated game speed by breaking it down into four scrimmages. Ainge noted that with the exhibitions, he did not think the coaches would treat the days before and after as pre- and post-game days. He acknowledged that Thursday would be treated as a game day, but fully expected hard practices on Wednesday and Friday.

Ainge is looking forward to another "boring game by the football team" against Colorado State. He said he enjoyed the boring football games, especially when the Cougars were winning, but he is also excited for his season to get started.

"The season kind of sneaks up on you. We still have some things to fine tune before UCLA and we'll have to play our best to give ourselves a good chance."

Spiff' Practice Observations

- Brock Zylstra was the player of the practice. He was really stroking it from the behind the three-point line. He was on fire. The perimeter defenders were definitely getting a workout in trying to cover him on the pick and roll.

- Keena Young also had a very good practice. He scored 10 points in the mini-scrimmage that concluded practice.

- Rashaun Broadus had a spectacular spinning move in the lane that he dropped through the hoop with nary a movement from the net. Young lamented that he almost blocked it and couldn't believe the move Broadus made to make that shot.

- Free throw shooting looked very solid today.


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